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How to Protect Against Electrical Surge Damage

When paired with an electrical grounding system, surge protection devices (SPDs) can protect your electrical equipment from transient voltage (also known as an electrical surge). Transient voltage can pass through any piece of electrical equipment in just a millisecond, and it accounts for approximately $28 billion of damage in the United States yearly. There are several sources of transient voltage, but the main causes are the following:

  • A direct or nearby lightning strike
  • Operation of high-power electrical devices, such as elevators, air conditioners, and refrigerators
  • Faulty wiring, problems with the utility company’s equipment, and downed power lines and
  • Blackouts or brownouts

SPDs contain electrical components that sense an electrical surge or spike and then divert this excess voltage safely to ground via semiconductors and resistors. For the best protection, SPDs should be applied with a zone approach. This infographic explains how to do just that.

This is the sixth article in the Electrical Loss Prevention series that GuideOne Insurance is doing in conjunction with Hartford Steam Boiler, our equipment breakdown reinsurer. Here are the others:

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.